Watch the virtual sunrise ceremony for National Indigenous Peoples Day on June 21.

The Aboriginal Affairs Award was established in 2003 as part of the Access, Equity and Human Rights Awards. This award will be given to a person(s) or organization whose volunteer efforts have made or are making a significant or ongoing contribution to the well-being and advancement of the Indigenous community in Toronto.

The City recognizes and celebrates a number of annual Indigenous events throughout the year.

Flags at City Hall

Sunrise Ceremony

Events 2020

On June 3, 2020, the Mayor of Toronto, John Tory, proclaimed June as National Indigenous Month. Read the Official Proclamation.

National Indigenous Month is a time to learn, reflect, and celebrate the diversity of First Nations, Metis, and Inuit across Tkaronto and all of Turtle Island.

National Indigenous Month reminds us to consider the unique needs of the Indigenous peoples in all of the work that we do. We must listen to their voices and stories and partner with them to help guide us in our work moving forward.

Throughout the month, all Canadians can learn about the history of the First Peoples and further embrace the opportunity to learn more about their identities. This month is also a time to celebrate the resilience of all Indigenous peoples, their vibrant and distinct cultures, and their beautiful languages. The City of Toronto encourages all residents to take time to educate themselves about Indigenous histories, strengths, and contributions.

 

Here are some ways to celebrate National Indigenous Month:

  • Support Indigenous entrepreneurs and businesses.

The City of Toronto has created a virtual ceremony to commemorate National Indigenous Peoples Day. Due to ongoing COVID-19 measures, this year the ceremony will not be held live at Nathan Phillips Square, but instead will be hosted online, to ensure the health and safety of all.

All are welcome and encouraged to view the video ceremony at 5:30 a.m. on Sunday June 21, joining others across Canada in celebrating this important day.  This year’s ceremony will include:

  • Prayer from Elder Garry Sault of the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation, including offering of medicines (smudging)
  • Water ceremony and song, followed by a berry teaching, with Kim Wheatley, Anishinaabe Grandmother, Turtle Clan and Traditional Ancestral Knowledge Keeper from Shawanaga First Nation
  • Welcome from Chief Stacey Laforme of the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation
  • Messages from Mayor John Tory and Councillor Mike Layton, member of the Aboriginal Affairs Advisory Committee
  • Big Drum Honour Song performed by the Black Bull Moose Singers, a traditional Indigenous singing group of the Anishnawbe and Oneida First Nations

Watch the ceremony below.

The Mayor of Toronto, John Tory, proclaimed June 21 as National Indigenous Peoples Day. Read the Official Proclamation.

About Indigenous Peoples Day (formerly National Aboriginal Day)

June 21 is National Indigenous Peoples Day (NIPD), formerly National Aboriginal Day. This is a day of cultural significance for First Nations, Inuit and Métis.

The City of Toronto has been raising the Indigenous flags since before amalgamation in 1998, in 2017 the City had the Indigenous flags permanently installed on Nathan Phillips Square. In the past we have marked the day around a sacred flame, strawberries, water and the use of sage for cleansing followed by the Mayor’s proclamation and presentation to a representative as well as the involvement of treaty partners.

Sunrise ceremony
2019 Sunrise Ceremony